Aspire: who are we?

Aspire is an award-winning not-for-profit organisation based in Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham. We deliver high-quality learning, support and wellbeing services at our women-only centre and to mixed audiences in communities and organisations across the North East of England.

Our women-only centre is a welcoming and friendly place to learn, socialise and gain confidence.

At our Chester-le-Street centre we offer the following:

• Free and low cost courses with start dates throughout the year.
• Friendly support groups and services always ready to welcome new faces.
• Opportunities for you and your family to improve your health and wellbeing.
• An on-site crèche to help with childcare while you learn or get support.

Our staff are experienced in delivering bespoke learning and training to mixed audiences across a wide range of sectors and organisations. 

Listening Service

If you're feeling worried, upset, stressed or anxious about something, we're here to listen. The confidential listening service is for all women 18+.

Health & Wellbeing

We support individuals and groups in the community to address their health and wellbeing in order to lead to happier and healthier lives.

Personal Development

We offer a comprehensive range of learning and training opportunities for women in the heart of our community. Aspire also offers training to other sectors, organisations and groups.


Aspire staff have a wealth of experience responding to the support needs of local women. We run several support groups including Mature Friends and our weekly Drop-In Group for those wanting to meet and make new friends.


Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, develop your skills and boost your confidence while making a difference to the lives of other women. 


Our on-site crèche is available for children under 5 and offers free places while you learn or get support at Aspire.

Whats on: at a glance

September 2018
Learn new skills with Aspire’s free and low-cost courses.  For detailed information click here
Course Name Day(s) / Time(s)
Introduction to Complementary Therapies                               
Monday 9.30am - 11.30am
Fit for Life
Monday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Reading Poetry for Pleasure
Monday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Samba Drumming
Monday 3.00pm - 5.00pm
Moving on with Maths
Tuesday 9.30am - 11.30am
Steps to Confidence
Tuesday 9.30am - 11.30am
Relax with Art
Tuesday 9.30am - 11.30am
Creating Sugar Craft Flowers
Tuesday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Carry on Creative Writing   
Tuesday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
All Things French   
Tuesday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Introduction to Creative Writing
Wednesday 9.30am - 11.30am
Explore Paper Craft
Wednesday 9.30am - 11.30am
Creative Christmas Crafts
Wednesday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
The Power of Words
Wednesday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Soup, Salad and Simple Cooking
Thursday 9.30am - 11.30am
The Brain! From Cave to Civilisation Thursday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Patchwork and Quilting
Thursday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Introduction to Criminology
Friday 9.30am - 11.30am
Know Your Body
Friday 9.30am - 11.30am
Happy Hunting (to get a job)  fiber_new
Friday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Dance to Fitness  
Friday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Back to basics with IT  
Friday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Groups, Support and Wellbeing
Stay well, feel supported and get more from life.  For detailed information click here
Mature Friends Group                                                              
Monday 9.30am - 11.30am
Singing Sisters   
Monday 9.30am - 11.30am
Monday Drop In
Monday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Computer Drop In
Tuesday 9.30am - 11:30am
Chat ‘n’ Craft
Tuesday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Positive Choices
Tuesday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Positive Progress
Wednesday 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Drop In Group
Thursday 9.30am - 11.30am
Wellness Service Weekly
Various (by appointment)
Confidential Listening Service
Various (by appointment)

How to enrol*

Enrol from Thursday 6th September 2018 to reserve your place.
Many of our courses are very popular and spaces fill up quickly.

In person: Mon - Fri, 9:00am - 4:00pm
By Telephone: 0191 3891504 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 4pm)

If you are in receipt of benefits, it is very important that you bring along evidence of this when you enrol.  Most courses start week beginning Monday 17th September 2018 - please check the individual course listing for details and enrol in advance to secure your place

Below is just a small selection of the feedback we have received from women visiting our center and using our services:

"I love Aspire. Great place which has helped me through some rough times. The ladies are very welcoming."

Janet Middlemiss

5* via Facebook Group

"It makes me very happy, everyone is so nice and helpful!"

Sarah Vallely

5* via Facebook Group

"Pleased I decided to come to Aspire. I have met some really lovely ladies x"

Sandra Stobbs

5* via Facebook Group